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International Football

Don’t Be Intimidated, Eguavoen Urges Super Eagles




Former Super Eagles’ player and chief coach, Austin Eguavoen has urged the current class of the team to be focused as they face perhaps their toughest challenge since Coach Gernot Rohr got to the saddle. The Super Eagles face Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions on Friday in the first leg of a back-to-back fixture in 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
“They should expect a tough encounter”, remarked Eguavoen who had in the past been involved in blood and sweat –spilling encounters with Cameroon. “Fixtures involving Nigeria and Cameroon or Ghana and Nigeria as well as Cameroon and Ghana are always classic encounters”, Eguavoen said. Therefore, no one should expect a mere stroll in the pack.
“Don’t be deceived by the paltry two points Cameroon currently have. They are African champions and they take a match with Nigeria very serious”, Equavoen told Sports Village Square.
He said it is good that Nigeria are currently on the drivers’ seat but the Super Eagles have to do a lot to sustain the momentum. The players should realise that they should not just rely on financial reward as motivation for the match, but look forward to qualifying for the World Cup as that will be more fulfilling for their career.
“Their market values will rise should they qualify for the World Cup”, Eguavoen who was the on-field skipper when Nigeria won the Africa Cup of Nations at Tunisia ’94 counselled.
He also pointed out that as Nigeria have respect for the Cameroonian Lions so also are the Cameroonians to Nigeria.
“Cameroon will natural not want to seat back and allow Nigeria to further widen the point gap as the race to Russia 2018 gathers momentum. “They will put a lot of intimidating pressure on us and we have to react well too”, said Eguavoen, a veteran of the 1994 and 1998 World Cup.
He pointed out the fact that Cameroon don’t play fanciful football and that they are often very physical. “Please tell the boys, they should not be intimidated”.
He recalled some of the matches he played for Nigeria against Cameroon. “They play robust football. He recalled the World Cup qualifying encounter Cameroon played with Nigeria at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan in June 1989.
“They have huge players like Emmanuel Kunde and others. I remember Louis Mfede trying to intimidate me. I reacted and told him this is Ibadan, not Yaoundé, I will ‘kill’ you here!
“He chickened out and moved away from me to the right side of their attack”, recalled Eguavoen. He further said it was an attempt to always intimidate the opposition that informed their controversial sleeveless shirts of the early 2000 which FIFA had to ban.
“They wanted opposing players to see their biceps and feel intimidated. I want the Super Eagles to take a full advantage of the home match because the Yaoundé crowd are also very intimidating. “If we get our results here, the return leg becomes less important to Cameroon”, he reasoned.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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International Football

New twist in Cameroon football coach crisis




The coaching crisis in Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions has taken a new dimension as the football federation, FECAFOOT, led by former international, Samuel Eto’o goes in direct confrontation with the coaching crew appointed by the sports ministry which also picks the bills.

  According to a Cameroon official who will not like to be named as he was not authorised to speak on the matter, the claims and counter claims of both the sports ministry and the FECAFOOT led by Eto’o had been heard and decided by the conciliation and arbitration chamber of the Cameroonian national Olympic committee, which is a court in charge of sports cases in Cameroon.

  “What is in contention is not the position of the Belgian coach, Marcc Brys, but that of the Cameroonian assistants attached to him.”

  The source explained to Sports Village Square that although the employment of Brys by the sports ministry was initially contested by Eto’o, the former player has come to accept the situation.


  “In Cameroon, there is always a techenical crew of nine to 11. The foreign coach is allowed to bring in two foreign assistants, while the others are always Cameroonians.

  In this case, the sports ministry approved the list of two foreign assistants by Brys while also announcing another set of local assistants that included former international, François Omam-Biyik, one of the stars of Italia ‘90  and the scorer of the goal that gave Cameroon a 1-0 win over a Diego Maradona-inspired  Argentina.

  “That is where the problem is. FECAFOOT also submitted a list of technical crew that included Brys and his two foreign assistants but dropped the names of the local assistants with new ones.”

  In essence, there are two lists with both having three names as same, but differ on the rest.

 According to the source, the list submitted by the sports ministry was upheld by the tribunal which threw aside that of FECAFOOT.


  In another twist, FIFA has already removed the name of Marc Brys from the profile of Cameroon on its website. Only the name of national women’s coach, Jean-Baptiste Bisseck is listed.

The removal of Brys’ name is happening a second time as it was first removed at the end of last month before being reinstated.

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International Football

Cameroon’s appointment of Brys as manager suspended by sports tribunal



Marc Brys

Cameroon’s appointment of Belgian Marc Brys as head coach was suspended by the country’s top sports tribunal on Tuesday following the petition of an amateur football club.

The country’s sports ministry stirred controversy last month when it named 61-year-old Brys as manager of the Indomitable Lions without consulting the football federation (FECAFOOT).

The move sparked a dispute between the sports ministry and FECAFOOT, which said the government had made a unilateral decision.

In response, it asked its president Samuel Eto’o to propose a national coach and other management staff for the national side within 72 hours, deepening its standoff with the sports ministry.

Eto’o kept Brys as head coach but named different assistants, technical, medical and administrative staff.


An amateur club, meanwhile, took the matter to the Arbitration and Conciliation Chamber of the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee.

In a provisional ruling on Tuesday, the court suspended the FECAFOOT appointments while it fully examined the matter. Concerned parties have 24 hours to appeal.

FECAFOOT in response said it “reserves the right to refer these decisions to FIFA, as they hinder the preparation process for the forthcoming sport events.

“The Emergency Committee of FECAFOOT will meet immediately to take appropriate measures,” it said in a statement.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has strict rules against government interference in national federations and has frequently banned countries when governments get involved in federation affairs.


The president of the Cameroon Association of Amateur Football Clubs, Balla Ongolo Henri, had previously said Eto’o’s appointments would damage Cameroon’s image and disrupt preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers next June.

Brys, 61, penned a contract on May 8 as head coach of the Indomitable Lions following the dismissal of Rigobert Song in February. FECAFOOT did not attend the signing ceremony.

The sports ministry says it has acted in accordance with national and international regulations.


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International Football

Amokachi, Adebayor and Amanda Dlamini confirmed for CAF African Schools Championship Finals



African football legends, Emmanuel Adebayor, Daniel Amokachi and Amanda Dlamini are some of the top names that have been confirmed for the Continental Finals of the CAF African Schools Football Championship 2024 scheduled in Zanzibar between 21 – 24 May 2024.

The CAF African Schools Football Championship is the school’s competition that includes over 44 African countries with over 800 000 participants of Boys and Girls under the age of 15.

This is the second edition of the competition that is not only focused on Football but also on a number of programmes including Young Referee’s Programme, Young Reporter Programme and Safeguarding. 

Adebayor, CAF Player of the Year in 2008, represented Togo at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for their only appearance at the tournament. Ex-striker for Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and others, the Togolese star has had a successful career, earning over 85 caps with Les Eperviers.

Nigerian football star Amokachi played 42 international matches for the Super Eagles. He participated in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and was part of the team that won the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and the Olympic Games in 1996.


Former Banyana Banyana (South Africa) captain Dlamini played in two TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations competitions where they finished third and second in 2010 and 2012, respectively. She is one of the few footballers, both in the men’s and women’s national teams to reach 100 caps.

Dlamini recently made history when she became the first female to be part of the world commentary feed at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

Also on the list are local stars Abdi Kassim Sadalla, former Tanzanian National Team Captain, and Hilda Masanche, Head coach of the Tanzania U17 Women’s National Team.

The Legends will feature in various activities to promote and support football development among African youth.

The finals will bring together talented young players from across the continent, providing them a platform to showcase their skills and passion for the game.



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